Toronto Harbour Permissions

Toronto-Related Swims

In 1954, sixteen year old Marilyn Bell pioneered the now-classic route across Lake Ontario, ending along the Toronto shoreline. Then, as today, Toronto is a major Great Lakes port. Many of the world's iconic marathon swims cross major shipping lanes, but the Marilyn Bell route is one of the few major crossings that ends in a bustling urban harbour.

This feature of our western Lake Ontario routes makes for some additional challenges in coordinating safe passage in the summer months, when recreational water users compete myriad commercial activities in and around Toronto.

For four decades we have worked with the Toronto port and harbour authorities to ensure safe passage of swimmers along this historic route across the Lake. This requires that we register our activities, and our saftey plans, with the port authorities, marine police patrols, and the coast guard. We have an integrated form that we provide to the harbour master each season, detailing the planned crossings and clarifying risks, responsibilities, and expecations of everyone involved on our crossings. Once your swim is confirmed, we need your information and signatures on a series of forms. We'll lead you through this process, but eventually, those forms will be available here.